This Day in History - July 24
Today is the 206th day of 2012. There are 160 days left in the year.
1997: After 290 years of union, the British government offers Scots the power to legislate, to tax and to speak for themselves in the European Union.
1567: Barely more than 1 year old, the son of Mary of Scotland is crowned James VI when his mother, defeated by rebel Scottish lords, abdicates the throne. He becomes King James I of England when his cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, dies.
1704: British capture Gibraltar during War of Spanish Succession.
1847: Brigham Young and the first Mormons arrive at Great Salt Lake in present-day Utah.
1922: League of Nations Council approves mandates for Palestine and Egypt.
1923: Greece gives up Smyrna, eastern Thrace and two islands to Turkey under the Treaty of Lausanne, which settles the borders of modern-day Turkey. The countries agree to exchange their minority populations.
1929: US President Herbert Hoover proclaims the Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy.
1969: The US Apollo II astronauts, the first men to walk on Moon, splash down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
1974: Konstantinos Karamanlis returns from exile and is sworn in as prime minister of Greece after the junta relinquishes control.
1976: US spacecraft Viking I lands on Mars and starts tests to determine whether life exists on the planet.
1981: Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation endorse separate cease-fire agreements to end fighting along the Lebanese-Israeli border.
1992: The Mexican government declines aid from the US earmarked to combat narcotics after accusing its northern neighbour of excessive interference in antidrug efforts.
1993: Russia says it will invalidate billions of old rubles to combat inflation.
1994: Rwandan refugees trickle into Zaire —now Congo — after the border is opened, to escape filthy, crowded camps where death from cholera and dehydration abound.
2000 - In Sierra Leone, dozens of rebels, including children, surrender to UN forces in the eastern city of Kenema and turn over their weapons.
2001: Tamil Tiger separatist rebels attack Sri Lanka's international airport and an adjoining Air Force base; 20 people are killed and a dozen military and commercial planes are destroyed.
2003: The joint US Congressional Committee on Intelligence releases a report of more than 800 pages on its 10-month-long inquiry into intelligence failures leading up to the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
2004: Iraq's interim leader says that diplomatic relations between Syria and Baghdad likely will be restored soon, after years of hostility and recent tension over foreign fighters sneaking into Iraq along their shared border.
2009: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya steps across the border into his homeland Friday, vowing to reclaim his post a month after soldiers flew him into exile.
2011: Thousands of protesters angry about Spain's brutal economic woes once again fill Madrid's downtown Sol square after many spent weeks marching hundreds of kilometers (miles) from far-flung cities across Spain.
Simon Bolivar, leader of South American independence (1783-1830); Alexandre Dumas, French writer (1802-1870); Ernst Bloch, Swiss-born composer (1880-1959); Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Japanese writer (1886-1965); Amelia Earhart, US aviation pioneer (1898-1937); Cootie Williams, US jazz musician (1908-1985); Bella Abzug, US lawyer, politician and activist (1920-1998); Gus Van Sant, US director (1952-); Jennifer Lopez, US actress/singer (1968-).